The process of onboarding new staff takes too long.
Am I right?
I recall a new role I started where I didn’t have all the access I needed even when I’d left the business.
In fact, that was part of my reason for leaving.
But, now, wiser to the inner working of IT teams, I understand it. Nobody ever gives the complete detail of what they might need one day.
I, as a new user to the business, don’t know myself. You can’t expect the HR team, tasked with getting me set up, to know every single app I’ll ever need. Or, more pertinently to this blog post, every Microsoft Teams channel I’ll need or which policies and features I’ll need on day 1, 31, or 301.
I didn’t have any need for Compliance Recording to be attached to my Teams license. Until I did.
When I raised a ticket for IT to enable the right level of recording, it was only added after the call. Instead, I used an app on my personal mobile after paying for a temporary recording license. Completely shadow IT and completely the wrong thing to do.
But the lead time for the ticket meant my unawareness of what I didn’t have put the deal in jeopardy. The client needed something doing now, otherwise, they’d miss their deadline and use someone else.
This is just one example of when onboarding new staff goes wrong. And there are plenty of other things I never got. To this day, it’s a running joke that my ticket for a company mobile is still “Open-awaiting user”.
What isn’t a joke is the impact inefficient onboarding has on your business. To both users and IT admins. But also, to the department heads who needed an instant impact. And to the recruitment team who only get their bonus when a new starter passes their probation. And the business unit that needs to improve its figures. Oh, and the existing staff who are under pressure because they’re a member of personnel down.
The impact of inefficient onboarding has an impact that spirals out of control if you let it.
In this blog post, we’re going to address how you can improve the onboarding process specific to Microsoft Teams users.
You’ll learn how to onboard Teams users more efficiently and how to create an onboarding document. You’ll also get free access to our Microsoft Teams onboarding template.
Let’s start at the very beginning.
Yes, it’s tempting to jump to the Microsoft Teams onboarding template. But, as J.R.R. Tolkien
said, “Short cuts make long delays”.
1 – How do I onboard Microsoft Teams?
Onboarding users to Teams is the most important element of the new starter process.
Without access to Teams, and the right access, new users can be sat twiddling their thumbs for days, weeks, or even months.
In the old days, as long as you had email access, a phone, and your core place of work (an app, a terminal, a device, whatever), you could get some work done.
As we move into the mid-2020s, reality is that everything gets done in Teams. After all, a single place to get work done has long been the goal of every collaboration provider. Slack even went as far as to change its stock exchange ticker to WORK from SK, as was its intention to make Slack the place “where work happens”.
Realizing this, Microsoft and various partners and integrators have created documentation and advice to help not just speed up the process, but make sure everything gets done right the first time.
The importance of getting it right first time ensures your Microsoft Teams management costs remain as efficient as possible.
Resources to help with Teams onboarding
Microsoft has its own onboarding guide called New Employee Onboarding (NEO). These provide dummy environments to help people get used to the layout of Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive before they start using them in the real world.
NEO also lets you create an onboarding journey that walks new hires through a list of administrative, technology, culture, training, and connection-related to-dos.
This is a great resource for new hires to use when you’ve set them up. You should use them to build a custom onboarding document, unique to your business.
But it’s also important to factor in the tasks you need to complete before a user even starts. In the next section, we’ll make sure you know how to create an onboarding document that includes your tasks and your new hire’s tasks.
2 – How do I create an onboarding document?
Your company’s onboarding document should include everything a new starter needs to get off to a flying start.
They should feel welcome and empowered on day one, and have accomplished several things by the end of that day.
When creating your overall onboarding document, make sure you include the following:
- Introduction to the company
- Welcome from the CEO/MD/founders
- Important contact information
- Department overview
- Vital role-specific information
- Policies and procedures (HR, remote working, etc.)
- Employee benefits registration
- Workspace and equipment requests
- Training sign up
- Goals for the end of their first day, week, and month
- Technology overview and access
This final component is ensuring the tool new starters will be using the most (Teams) is not just ready for them to use, but ready for them to thrive.
There’s nothing worse than starting a new job, spending your first day/week running through introductions and filling out forms, only to start the following Monday with a stumble.
“I feel onboarded and am ready to do my job. Oh, wait, I don’t have XYZ feature turned on in Teams.”
Now commences the ticket raising and thumb twiddling.
To avoid said thumb twiddling, you must factor in all the nuances of Teams of the individual, or at least their department or user type. At Callroute, we call these personas.
See below how we created a Technical Support persona and can assign relevant policies and access for anyone that joins the Technical Support team.
We factor in building personas (and how to auto-provision them) in our Microsoft Teams onboarding template below.
3 – Microsoft Teams onboarding template
We asked Chat GPT to create a Microsoft Teams onboarding template. (That’s what it’s for, right?)
It created a basic, but good, template that we think will suffice for small businesses.
Microsoft Teams onboarding template for small to medium businesses
[Your Organization’s Name] Microsoft Teams Onboarding Document
- Welcome to Microsoft Teams! This document will guide you through the essential steps to get started and make the most out of Teams for communication and collaboration within our organization.
- Account setup
- Visit teams.microsoft.com to log in with your company credentials.
- Download and install the Microsoft Teams application on your device.
- User interface overview
- Sidebar: The sidebar contains the main navigation options such as Activity, Chat, Teams, Calendar, and Calls.
- Navigation bar: Switch between different areas within Teams (e.g., Chats, Teams, Meetings) using the navigation bar.
- Chat window: The chat window displays your conversations and messages.
- Chat and messaging
- Start a chat by clicking on the “New Chat” button and entering the name or email address of the person you want to chat with.
- Send messages by typing in the message field at the bottom of the chat window.
- Teams and channels
- Teams: Teams are groups of people organized around a specific topic, project, or department. Click on “Teams” in the sidebar to see all the teams you’re a part of.
- Channels: Channels are subgroups within teams for focused discussions and file sharing. Click on a team to view its channels.
- Create a new team by clicking on the “Join or create a team” button in the Teams sidebar.
- Meetings and calls
- Schedule a meeting by clicking on the “Calendar” tab in the navigation bar and selecting “New Meeting.”
- Join a meeting by clicking on the meeting invitation link or accessing the meeting from the calendar.
- During a meeting, use the controls at the bottom of the screen to enable/disable audio, video, screen sharing, and more.
- File sharing and collaboration
- Share files within a chat or channel by clicking on the paperclip icon in the message field and selecting the file to upload.
- Collaborate on documents using integrated Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Click on “New” in a chat or channel to create a new document.
- Integration with other apps
- Integrate third-party apps and services with Teams to streamline workflows.
- Explore available Microsoft integrations like SharePoint, Planner, and OneNote.
- To add an app, click on the “Apps” button in the navigation bar, search for the desired app, and follow the installation instructions.
- Notifications and settings
- Customize your notification settings by clicking on your profile picture in the top-right corner and selecting “Settings” > “Notifications.”
- Personalize your Teams experience by adjusting settings like profile picture, status, and availability in the “Settings” menu.
- Troubleshooting and support
- If you encounter any issues or have questions, contact our IT support team at [contact information].
- For additional resources and self-help, visit [internal knowledge base or support portal].
- Best practices and etiquette
- Keep conversations focused and organized by using the appropriate channel for discussions.
- Utilize status and availability settings to communicate your availability to team members.
We hope this document helps you get started with Microsoft Teams! If you have any further questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our IT support team.
This is useful for small teams and for users who’ve never or infrequently used Teams. For a more thorough Microsoft Teams onboarding template and process, keep reading…
Pre-requisites for Microsoft Teams onboarding in large organizations
The first step of your Teams onboarding process is to set up the new user.
Typically, this process involves creating a basic user with access to things like the General channel, the ability to set up meetings, and chat with everyone in your business. Real basic and easy to configure.
What usually happens next is a barrage of tickets requesting features be turned on. They come in ticket by ticket when the new user discovers they can’t do something.
What should have happened, and now can, thanks to Microsoft Teams auto-provisioning, is you receive the user’s department, location, and almost anything you ask HR for, then assign the user a persona.
Every policy and all access gets pulled from that persona template and gets assigned to the new user. It really is as simple as that.
Callroute automates your entire user provisioning process on Microsoft Teams, so you save time, reduce errors, and remove manual inefficiencies.
All you need to do is add your new user’s AzureAD attribute then leave the rest to us.
That means every time you have a new starter, you assign them a persona and we assign all the relevant policies.
We make it easy to assign policies like these…
|App Setup||Channels||Events||Messaging||Video Interop Service|
|Audio Conferencing||Compliance Recording||Files||Mobility||Voice Applications|
|Call Hold||Emergency Calling||IP Phone||Room Video Tele Conferencing||WorkLoad|
|Calling||Emergency Call Routing||Meeting Broadcast||Shifts||Meeting Branding|
|Call Park||Enhanced Encryption||Meeting||Survivable Branch Appliance||Dial Plan|
Say, for example, marketing hires 10 interns on the same day as you have a new sales academy of 40 starting. And it just so happens that your operations team has doubled from 25 to 50 to meet the new demand of all your marketing and sales staff.
That’s 100 new users to provision.
It’s one thing coping with the tedium of the doing the same task over and over again. But think about the time you could be spending on tasks where you add real value. Think of the time you get back in your day.
And what happens if you make a mistake (we are all human, after all)?
One small mistake, caused by manual data entry, could lead to marketing having access to private documents your accounts team wouldn’t dream of sharing with anyone.
Callroute’s automated provisioning does all the heavy lifting, so you can get on with your job—like creating your Microsoft Teams onboarding template…
Microsoft Teams onboarding template for large businesses (and heavy Teams usage)
Above, we introduced the real basics when it comes to onboarding new Teams users and some suggestions for your generic onboarding document.
In this section, we go much deeper and create a thorough Microsoft Teams onboarding document for you to hand to new users.
Our goal here is for you to copy and paste this and then add any company-specific information.
The Notes column is included for your benefit as a Teams admin.
|Channels and chats||Company-wide channels||You automatically have access to all company-wide channels.||Point out the naming convention to help recognize them.|
|Channels and chats||Department-specific channels||You don’t have access to other departments’ channels unless they have been made public.||You can use Callroute to automatically grant access to relevant channels based on user personas.|
|Channels and chats||Introduction to channel naming conventions||When creating a new channel, use the following naming convention: [_____________]||Insert your chosen naming convention.|
|Channels and chats||How to decide whether you need to create a new channel vs team||Teams are created by department heads and Microsoft admins. You can create channels within those teams when needed.||Useful blog post: When to Create a Team vs. Channel in Microsoft Teams|
|Channels and chats||When to use channels vs chat||Read this blog post for guidance on whether you need a channel or chat.||Blog post: Microsoft Teams channels vs chats|
|Channels and chats||When to use threads within chats||Use threads to reference a specific prior message. Read this blog post for guidance.||Blog post: Tom Arbuthnot Explains Microsoft Teams Threads & Replies|
|Etiquette||Overview of Microsoft Teams etiquette||Think about how your action on Teams will impact the recipient. Read this blog post for guidance.||Blog post: Microsoft Teams Etiquette: 20 Do’s And Don’ts You Need To Hear|
|Etiquette||Keeping your status up to date and using out of office||Help others remain productive by updating your status manually when you’re Busy, Available, or when you’ll Be Right Back. Teams will auto-update when you’re in a Teams meeting or you remain idle for 5 minutes.||If you use more than one platform, check out Presence Sync for two-way sync between Teams and your secondary platform.|
|Etiquette||What to expect when someone’s set to Do Not Disturb (DND)||Unless your colleague has forgotten to change their status back from DND, they are either in a meeting, sharing their screen, or do not wish to be disturbed for a specific reason. Treat others how you wish to be treated.||You might want to add guidance around overuse of DND vs appearing like you’re hiding from colleagues.|
|Etiquette||How to check colleagues’ presence||Always check the color indicator next to someone’s name and profile photo before sending a message.||Amend if your company has a different policy.|
|Etiquette||Don’t just say hello||When working asynchronously, it’s interruptive to start a chat with a greeting and provide no context. Read why saying Hello and waiting for a response is the wrong thing to do.||Website: https://www.nohello.com/|
|Etiquette||What liking a message can mean||When you 👍 a message, or someone sends you a 👍, it might not necessarily mean they like your message. It’s most commonly used as acknowledgment that your message has been seen.||When you 👍 a message, or someone sends you a 👍, it might not necessarily mean they like your message. It’s most commonly used as an acknowledgment that your message has been seen.|
|Etiquette||When to use GIFs and emojis||At your own digression; but use situational judgment.||Amend if your company has a specific policy.|
|Etiquette||When you should @ mention people||Not every time you send a message. You don’t need to @ mention in one-to-one chats as the notification is the same. In channels, you may want to @ mention someone if it’s a busy channel and they might miss the notification or you need their specific input.||Amend if your company has a specific policy.|
|Etiquette||Best practices for notifications||If you proactively check in-app notifications or spend a lot of time in Teams, turn off your email notifications. Otherwise, this is duplication. If you use Teams infrequently, email notifications may be helpful. Check various settings here.||Blog post: Get Your Head Around Microsoft Teams Notifications|
|Files||Where to store files||Creating a new file of any type can start in Teams. Likewise, you can upload any document to Teams. In both scenarios, these will sync with SharePoint (online document repository) so you don’t need to duplicate the action. Ensure files are stored in the appropriate channel.||Amend if your company has a specific policy.|
|Files||If/how to share documents/channels externally||External collaboration is encouraged but must adhere to internal security protocols. Speak to a Teams admin for help.||Amend if your company has a specific policy.|
|Meetings||How to set up meetings||You can set up a meeting in a channel, from your calendar, and with external contacts. Full details available here.||Blog post: How to Set Up a Microsoft Teams Meeting for First-Time Users|
|Meetings||When to set up meetings||Not every decision or discussion needs real-time meetings. Think about whether using up everyone’s time is a better option than using chat in an asynchronous manner.||Amend if your company has a specific policy.|
|Access||If/how to add third-party apps||Power users have access to add third-party apps. If you don’t have access, speak to your department head or raise a support ticket.||Amend if your company has a specific policy.|
You could accompany this onboarding checklist with a Teams tutorial or test to ensure new starters know not only how to use Teams, but how your business uses Teams.
It doesn’t need to be rocket science. Include things like:
- Where to find useful company information
- What happens in a specific channel
- What’s the name of the channel you’d find XYZ?
- Should this message be sent as a chat or channel message?
Once they pass, they have free reign. If they fail, they can take the test again or reach out for support. This may sound daunting but the goal of your Teams onboarding template is to ensure there’s very little to get wrong.
4 – The final word on speeding up provisioning
As an IT admin, the bulk of your work is done before a new user starts. That means there’s a high chance of tickets being created because specific people have custom requirements.
When setting up new users for the first time, wouldn’t it be bliss if you could auto-assign policies based on user personas?
No more repetitive adding of the same thing over and over again. Plus, a minimal chance of you making a mistake as you’ve got everything templated.
Sure, onboarding will always need a human touch.
But, wouldn’t it be better if you actually had time to dedicate that human touch, rather than rushing your way through tickets?
Want to speed up your Teams provisioning process? Check out Callroute’s auto-provisioning here.